No questions asked: Shiloh Temple hosting gun buyback program Saturday

A church community that says it is tired of hosting funerals is now trying a different way to stop the shootings.

Shiloh Temple International Ministries in North Minneapolis is hosting a gun buyback this weekend in hopes of getting guns off the streets and healing their community.

Shiloh Temple is a staple along West Broadway in North Minneapolis and it has been dealing with a fair share of trauma.

“We’re dealing with families that are grieving over the loss of loved ones and, as they grieve, we grieve as well,” said Bishop Richard Howell.

 The church is also working to be part of the solution.

“We’re tired of it and we see there is a great need to do something about that and this gun buyback program can be one of those things we can do something about,” said Howell.

All are welcome to bring in their guns from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. this Saturday. In return, they’ll receive a gift card.

Police and security will be on hand, but that shouldn’t scare anyone away, as officials say nobody will be arrested and the buyback program is no questions asked.

Saturday’s event won’t just be about the buyback program, however. It’s also going to address mental health and the trauma many people in Minneapolis have suffered over the past few months.

“But after you take guns out of sick hands, what do you do with them? You offer them access. You expand access to emotional, mental and physical services to help lighten the load,” said Deseria Galloway, the CEO and founder of Wellspring Second Chance Center.

Galloway is a parishioner and organizer of Saturday’s event. She sees a community summit following the gun buyback as the key to addressing the real issues.

“You can take the guns, but if you don’t heal the heart, when you change a man’s heart, you change his ways,” Galloway said.

That includes access to therapy and a diverse group of panelists from a youth offender to police and victims of police brutality. Organizers are hoping an honest conversation is a step toward something better.